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Discussion in 'Puppies' started by jmarc, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. jmarc New Member

    Hi I am new and found my way here in the hopes of finding others with puppies and all their problems. I have 2 Shih Tzu's. They are 3 1/2 months old and brother and sister. They are really adorable little dogs. I am having a hard time with everything. I don't have them house broken yet because they love my carpet I guess. They can be outside for hours then come in and use the carpet. They also prefer the cat food to puppy food. I have enough food to keep the spca stocked for awhile. Oh they do like poop and the poor cats always have an audience when they go. Any suggestions would be most appreciated

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    potty training two puppies

    Oh boy where to start. I have loads of advice that I think will help. First you are braver than I am to get two puppies. I usually just get one and that's more than enough to deal with. :)

    First all potty accidents are your fault period. If you are not watching them 110% they should be crated. If you prevent access to the carpet with doggie gates and correct crate training your carpet will be safe. Most of my dogs have had one or no pottys in the house as puppies. Mostly I HATE cleaning up so I go to extremes to train. I would get each a crate of the correct size, just big enough to stand up in and turn around and reposition. This uses their natural dislike of soiling where they sleep.

    Next you need to really really clean those areas very well with an enzymatic cleanser specifically meant to remove urine and feces smell. I like natures little miracle sold at most pet stores. so far it has not discolored anything and a few others have. you can also buy a stink light which is a UV light that makes any human or dog excrement or saliva etc glow in the dark so you can see it and clean it up. It's about $20 at

    Always take puppies out, scoop them up right away if one goes the other will to, they should go out right after meals, naps, exercise, play, excitement. Take them to a favorite spot and stand there, no play. Leash if needed to keep them there. If they pee then praise and reward the dog that pottys only, ignore the other until he pee's. While they are going say the same word cue over and over again so you can teach them to go on command. I use hurry-up and I still reward my dogs after 4 years for potty. Esp when it's snowing buckets and I want a pee and return pronto.

    I would get them separate crates and spend alone time with each puppy training and playing starting now. When puppies are the same age they have a tendency to form a stronger bond with one another rather than you. You need to become the neatest most interesting thing in their world and forge some bonds with them. If not they won't listen nearly as well and not regard you as a member of their relationship.

    With crates they should be able at 3.4 months to go 3.5 hours without pottying in the crate during the day. Each puppy is different and depending on what time you feed/exercise/etc they may need to go sooner. If you put everything like feeding and exercise and etc on a strict schedule and take them out every hour you'll soon be able to predict WHEN they need to go. Use this as your guide to take them out. It's fine to have them out and playing but if they are not watched with all your attention they will potty in the house. So when not watched they are crated.

    I put a crate in the bedroom so I can hear them whine at night if they need to go and so they can hear me. I also have on in the family room so they can see and hear and be part of the family while we are fixing dinner or eating but we can't watch. Don't give them access to the entire house. that is one of the biggest problems with potty training is allowing them to wander at large into remote parts of the house and forget where the door is or get so involved they just pee right there.

    Never scold or get angry, if you associate negative emotions with potty the dogs is not as likely to potty while you are there. If only positive things come from you then that is good. If you don't catch them do not scold after the fact. Their memories are 2-5 seconds and there is no possible way they know that you are mad because they potty'd. They only know that potty makes you mad so they should probably hide when they do it so you won't catch them.

    If you do catch them in the act say their name a little loud (not yelling or mad) to distract and stop them. Scoop them up and go to the favorite spot and set them down there and give the potty cue. Reward and praise and have a puppy party when they finish. I suggest very high quality treats like chicken or beef or cheese since kibble is of little interest to many dogs. Just use pea sized pieces and have them in a baggie or a string cheese in ur pocked to bite small bits off of.

    If you are consistent and diligent and clean well you should see success. Those old potty spots can encourage a dog to remark for years so be sure and get it gone. Hope this helps. Good luck with TWO pups. :dogbiggrin: Get Patricia McConnell's book Puppy Primer it's a quick cheap easy read that will help.
  3. jenclerm Experienced Member

    Hi Snooks great advice...

    but I am also STILL having trouble with Luke ... He will pee out side no probs :)
    But then when I bring him back in to my bedroom he will then go poop under my bed... that is the only place where he does it, I have tried to inturped him and bring him back outside and he will not go!!

    I cleaned underneath I don't know how many times.. I stand outside waiting for him to go... until he screams to go back inside... I don't know what to do anymore
  4. snooks Experienced Member


    do you have a nice crate for him? you really need a crate to do this faster and easier. most likely he will not poop in that crate if it’s just big enough for him to stand, turn around, and reposition being able to stretch out a little. much bigger and he might poop on one end and go sleep on the other. it is your job to know when he needs to poop to so you can time it right. he needs to not be given the opportunity to poop and not be left his crate really needing to poop. a puppy doxie needs to pee every couple of hours if he's quiet and poop 2-5 times a day depending on diet and the dog.

    block off underneath ur bed with big non chewable plastic bins or milk crates or plywood and stop him from pooping there again period. use big and not chewable things so that he can't hurt himself. really cleaning that poo with enzymatic cleaner esp for urine and feces smell removal like natures little miracle sold at pet stores is critical. you'll probably need to move the bed out and really clean. a little smell can entice a dog to remark for years. they do cut wood to size at home improvement stores or some short doggie gates would work. There are loads of cheap ones if you hunt around. Especially a short one for just by your bed.

    has he ever been scolded for potty in the house by anyone? that might be why he's hiding under the bed. because he associates unhappy stuffy with potty not fun and praise and rewards. you can change that easy enough. just another guess.

    one way to test when he needs to poop is to feed and exercise him on a strict schedule then pees and poops will happen on a schedule. if you can commit to a regular walk time this can help. if not right now since it's cold then commit to an indoor play time like a tuggie toy or training tricks anything that gets him moving. after that go out on a poop walk in the yard. also when I take them on a walk I repeat "outside?" over and over so they associate going out with that word. later i can ask them if they seem anxious "outside?" and if they come to me I know they do want to go outside. I don't use "outside" for play.

    if you start on a weekend with the schedule, get up potty and while he goes repeat your potty cue over and over and over. when he's done praise and reward with good meat or cheese treats and make a big deal of it puppies love drama. Then if you aren't able to watch 100% then give him a little treat in his crate and wait an hour and walk again. walk on leash every hour or when puppy circles or whines or look anxious. stay out for about 5 minutes or less on leash walking slow in ur yard no play just boring. If nothing happens just calmly walk back in without a word. put a small treat in the crate and crate puppy for another 30-60 minutes depending on how long it's been and if you think he MUST need to go or if acts anxious.

    if you want to go out and play you can come in from a potty walk and turn right around to go out to play. what you don't want is puppy thinking the longer he waits the more play he gets. so the two activities are separated. then you write down the pee and poop times. just don't do hard exercise within an hour of eating to avoid bloat which requires surgery and can be fatal. though it's mostly big deep chested dogs at risk and doxies are low risk it is still safer to avoid.

    Poop happens with most dog’s right after waking up, right after eating, and after or during exercise/excitement because exercise is a poop stimulant. So always walk him then regardless. If you know puppy must need to poop and you need to leave maybe a little run around the yard on leash or out front on leash might help spark the need. Pretty soon you'll be able to predict within 30 minutes or so when he needs to go and if you have a go on command down then you're set. once they know the command if the sort of need to they'll go and you can go on about your schedule.

    a predictable schedule for me when my dog was your pup's age was this. wake up at 6 and go straight to potty. Usually pee and about half the time poop. Then with a small treat puppy goes back to crate for an hour while i get breakfast etc. After I eat she usually needs to pee and poop. The she eats and goes right back out to pee again. Then we come in and when I watch 100% she can stay out but crated otherwise. 100% doesn't mean while on the computer or watching TV b/c you could well miss it.

    We have a 3 story house and puppy is gated on the main floor. too much access too fast makes for more accidents. I'm 99% sure she wouldn't go on another floor but why risk all my training and carpet. if she's on the main floor with me and i see her circling or looking anxious I can ask "outside?" if she paws me yes then gooood girl and we go right then with treats in pocket for rewards.

    When i leave we potty walk before and after i return. This is why potty on command is so valuable. Even if it's not urgent it would be preferable if pup could go before u leave and be more comfortable and successful. ur pup probably needs a walk at least every two hours ideally if crated. a small dog not crated could go every 15 minutes which is why watching is important.

    try getting on a schedule and see how it works. potty training is all about timing. Hang in there. :dogwacko:
  5. jenclerm Experienced Member

    Thank you so much for responding... Blocking the bed.. Good idea, I will start with that. Well after I wash the floor... again. Luke is crate trained and he will not soil it. So I guess I have a plus there. :)

    Luke did go poop outside but after the snow fell he stopped!! And no there has never been any scolding for pooping in the house…I use to let him with puppy pads for a while.. I even moved them under the bed as that is were he wanted to go…

    Yeah I know my bad!!!

    I will b e on vacation next week so I should be able to do this...

    Then again Luke is being nurtured on Tuesday… this might be tricky… do I still make him go out side the same night after surgery??

    Thanks again Snooks for all of your help!!!

  6. jmarc New Member

    Thanks Snooks

    Good advice and yes I will take the blame for them using my carpet. It really does need a good cleaning. So far I have found two pups easier than one but a lot more expensive. I am going to have to separate them for training though.

    One other problem is the early hour they get up. I put them in a crate at night and no accidents in there. They wake up at 4am and starting whining. I ignore them for awhile but after an hour I get up and put them out and our day has started. Luckily I'm retired so the early hour isn't that much of a problem but I would prefer to stay in bed until 7 at least.

  7. snooks Experienced Member

    jmarc i do so hear you about the early hour. don't worry, I'm retired too and my 1 yo slept until 7:30 today. the 4 yo will get up at 8 if i insist. of course I woke up at 5:30. at least there is hope. LOL unf I spent a lot of cold nights in the snow doing the early walk thing at about 4am. we have coyotes and lions here so letting them out isn't an option...we had to go out with them.

    I meant to say to that everyone i know that have dogs and cats found it necessary to gate off a room for the litter and cat food and put the cat food where the dogs can NOT get to it or just not free feed the cats. sometimes the kitchen counter is a bad idea if you don't want to end up with doggies on the counter causing all sorts of problems. yours probably aren't big enough to end up on the counter. though i've seen things on tv with dogs opening drawers and using them as stairs. thank goodness none those dogs have ever lived with me.

    None of my dogs could ever resist cat poo. would your cat jump over a low gate or just get irritated enough not to use the litter pan? maybe a kitty tree the dogs couldn't climb or topple just outside (and a stool inside) would be easy enough and give a little puppy free sanctuary room too. they make some nice pressure mounted walk through gates now that require no tools and do no damage to the door frame. they have some with kitty size walk through doors but i bed ur puppies would fit right through.

    my only other idea is a door that is magnetic flap and unlocks only for the animal wearing the collar with the fob that turns it off for a moment. it's often used to keep neighbor cats out of houses when they come invade territory or raid for food.
  8. snooks Experienced Member

    jenclerm ask the vet just so that you feel comfortable with it. also ask who to call in case of any emergency after hours. usually all is fine but it never hurts to know, my dobie got a stitch out even though i was lying right beside him. we went to the afterhours clinic and they glued it with skin glue and he left it alone.

    my dogs have always gone potty outside right after a neuter. as long as the wound stays clean and dry there's no reason not to. unless you have snow or mud on the ground since he's a little low guy and he's leashed you shouldn't have a problem. explain to the vet about your potty training for outdoors and ask just in case he sits down or something how to clean the wound. it will need to stay clean and dry until stitches come out in about a week.

    there's no law against taking 3-4 pee pads or some really big ones outside either. just gently hold the leash and don't pull but don't let him off the big pad. they make some huge ones for entire litters so it could be used several times and the scent mark might encourage him to go again outside faster. it might also help transition with you potty training for outside. just fold up and put in the garage or a big bag in between so it will stay clean and not get snow/rain on it.

    i put a pee pad just outside our slider onto the deck for a while as a lure to go outside and potty while the door was open. puppy was about 3 mos then and actually never used it but many people do train that way like with an entire litter of pups. there is also something called a pee post that you stick in the ground and is supposed to encourage peeing there for your future endeavors.

    with all the cleaning and blocking it sounds like you have a good plan. hang in there.
  9. jmarc New Member

    Hi Snooks.

    I don't have much free space in my mobile home so we pretty much have to make do with what we have. I'm very quick at emptying the litter before the dogs get to it. The food well the cats aren't free fed anymore and usually end up getting less than the dogs except for dry food after the dogs are in bed at night. My dogs just don't like kibble and that's all there is to it so they are on a moist diet and doing ok with that.

    I guess I'll just have to go with the early get up and wait anxiously until they decide to sleep in. The first morning they do sleep in I'll probably be up shaking them to make sure they're alive.


  10. snooks Experienced Member

    Actually canned food is less processed and generally better for them than the same quality kibble would be. Most of my cat owning friends that know a lot about feline nutrition say canned is much better for cats too. So don't worry about no kibble if it works that's great.

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